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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Pakistan more sinned against than sinning - Haroon Siddiqui

Blaming Pakistan for the mess in Afghanistan is to get the equation backwards.

Pakistan has problems galore, and they are getting worse by the day. The jihadist insurgency there, with mounting attacks on the army and suicide bombings against civilians, is a spillover from Afghanistan, not the other way around.

The problems of Afghanistan thus have to be resolved mostly in Afghanistan – just as the problems of invaded Iraq have to be resolved mostly in Iraq, not in Iran or Syria.

John Manley's panel on our Afghan mission seems to understand, offering some nuanced observations.

"The crisis in Pakistan, which shares a lawless border with Afghanistan, adds new danger and confusion to Afghanistan's future."

It does. In fact, "Pakistan's own political disarray magnifies the destabilizing threat of the insurgency both to Pakistan and Afghanistan." (Emphasis mine).

"The conflict in Afghanistan is a continuation of almost three decades of war involving many of the same players, not all of which are Taliban." Correct.


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